Google's Classroom: (Marginalization), Rhetoric, Technology, and a Pandemic at a Title I High School

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2022-12

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Abstract

Despite efforts from students, teachers, administrators, and the federal government to remedy achievement gaps at the secondary level, many low-income high school students continue to lag far behind their counterparts in virtually every academic category. The purpose of this study is to explain how technical communicators can play a part in narrowing this achievement gap. In the autoethnographic dissertation, I thematically analyze the online learning platform Google Classroom based on nine rhetorical categories, and statistically analyze high school student scores on a variety of English assessments during the 2019-2020 school year. The study shows that Google Classroom offers instructors and students a bevy of opportunities to apply rhetorical principles to the completion of real-world tasks; however, it also shows that technology alone cannot solve academic problems for marginalized students. This dissertation has several implications for practitioners and researchers in the field of technical communication and education — mainly that, through active recruitment of and collaboration with public school educators, technical communicators in the field or in research can expand their audience by meeting the needs of secondary school stakeholders.

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Keywords

Rhetoric, Pandemics, Google Classroom, Marginalization, High Schools, Technical Communication

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